Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Decent Player

So far my soccer season has been going pretty good. We have a new coach who is from St. Lucia and a phenomenal soccer player, although half the time we can't quite undersand what he is saying. Out of the eight games we've played, we've won 5, lost 2, and tied 1.

As of right now I have five goals, which puts me tied for first place in scoring for our division, which consists of ten teams.

Just for clarification I play in the Classic Premier division (another way of saying over 35). There is only one other division higher than us, which is Classic Major.

The other day I received an email from a Classic Major team, a team which has finished in first place ever since they became a team. They've won provincials and competed at the National level.

This is what the email said, I have heard through several reliable sources that you are a decent player. Then they asked if I'd be willing to sub for them when they are in need of a player. I had to laugh when I read that because first of all saying you are a decent player isn't that much of a compliment, it's like saying you are an okay cook. Second, I'm pretty sure they just looked at the scoring leaders and asked those people with no regard to how they play.

Unfortunately or fortunately due to club policy we cannot play for a team in a division where the club has a team, so I couldn't say yes, but I wasn't disappointed, because having them believe I'm a decent player is much better than playing for them and proving otherwise.

Sometimes I feel like that with writing. In my mind I'm a good writer, of course in my mind I'm good at a lot of other things, but sometimes it's still hard to send out chapters to my critique partners or queries, because the rejections or critiques might prove otherwise.

Anyone else feel that way or maybe I'm the only one with major insecurities?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Random Conversations

Near the end of school my fourteen-year-old son was coming home on the bus. In front of him sat two girls of the same age. When his ipod battery died he overheard an interesting question about vampires and werewolves.

Girl #1
Who would rather date a vampire or a werewolf?

Of course being a boy, he tuned out and didn’t hear her friends answer to the question, but my twelve-year-old had a great response.

Son #2
Werewolf of course because of Taylor Lautner
(He says with a hint of sarcasm)
Actually vampires are cold and werewolves are warm and I’d rather be warm.

Son #1
I don’t think there are any girl werewolves.

Actually there are. There’s at least one. You’d know that if you read the book.

Son #1
I’ll read your book when it gets published, but not that book.

Side Note: Did I mention my boys don’t read, but I did buy four books for them to read this summer, we’ll see if it happens.

Son #1
Reading over mom’s shoulder
Like that’s going to happen.

A mother can always hope.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Like most of you I have a few people who read my work and help me to make them better, but I've been thinking that I need to be using them a bit more than I do.

In the past I've only been having them read through my chapters once and then doing the rewrites on my own. Sometimes I'll send them a chapter if I've completely rewritten it.

So here's my question:
What is your process with crit partners? Do they do multiple reads of your work, or just one or two?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Going back to the beginning

No this isn't going to be another Princess Bride Analogy, although who doesn't love a little Princess Bride.

No, this is about going back to the reason I wanted to be a writer in the first place, because I loved to read. I've been feeling a little out of sorts. I have a serious lack of motivation, a full on set of procrastination, and at times I've been darn right lazy. So this week I've decided to start reading again.

I have narrowed my TBR pile down to three books that I want to finish by the end of June.

Some Kind of Normal by Heidi Willis
(I should have read this long time ago - sorry Heidi)

Spells by Aprilynne Pike

The Body Finder by Kimberley Derting.

I'm hoping to get myself out of my funk and give myself some motivation, or else it'll do the opposite and think I'll never be able to write as good as theses ladies so I might as well give up. Hopefully it's the former.

PS: A little six year old girl at church today told me I had swampy eyes. Is that good or bad, I'm not sure?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Need a little laugh

I commute to work. Fifty minutes there and fifty minutes back, if I'm lucky. I do this three times a week.

For the last few months I have been listening to books on CD in an attempt to enjoy my drive and not get so frustrated with the traffic. I've listened to lots of different authors and different themes: Nora Roberts, Scott Turow, Sidney Sheldon and Anita Shreve to list a few. (There isn't a lot of YA books on CD in my library). Lately I've picked books have been a little gloomy and depressing.

The latest is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It's 20 hours long, while most other books are only six. Although Jane Eyre is excellently written and entertaining, I'm starting to feel a little depressed. All these books about angst are starting to get to me. I think I need to go get a Nick Hornby or Larry Doyle book.

What about you? Do you ever get sick of the same dark themes and need a little humor? What's one of the funniest books you've read? I need some ideas.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What would you give up?

I came across this interesting story and thought I would share.

What would you sacrifice to see your country win soccer’s World Cup? Food for a week, according to a survey that also found fans willing to lose a limb for their team’s glory.

Fifty-one percent of respondents to the tongue-in-cheek survey of 20,000 people, who live in North America but hail from countries with teams in the June 11-July 11 World Cup, said they would starve themselves for a week if that would bring victory to their national squad.

More than 40 percent offered to give up dating for a year, while seven percent said they would gladly give up their job to see their country win the title.

A further four percent were willing to give away a body part.

The survey was conducted by U.S.-based international calling firm VIP Communications Inc ( ahead of the South African extravaganza featuring 32 nations.

It found that a majority of English respondents — 93 percent — would give up food for a week to see England win, while some 70 percent of Italians would give up their job for an Italian victory.

Americans were most willing to sacrifice their homes, while South Koreans were most ready to sacrifice their love life.

And the people least willing to make a sacrifice?

The survey found that only 3 percent of Solvakians would give up anything to improve their country’s chances of victory.

So what would you give up to get your book published? Are writers as crazy as football (soccer) fans?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

How do people do it?

Things I try to do and how I’m doing

Keep up with the housework (This gets harder if I have any other things to do on my days off work – like volunteer at the school)

Work 20 hours a week (I don't try to do this. I do this because I’m paid to)

I try to eat healthy and exercise (I have my good days and my bad - today not so good)

I try to spend quality time with my kids (Doesn't always happen, unless you include watching them play sports)

I try to write at least one chapter a week. (Was good until I finished. Now I’m not sure whether to edit or start writing something else).

I try to blog consistently (I think I’m pretty good at this)

I try to comment on other people’s blogs (Right now I’ve been horrible. I do read your blogs, but I’m just finding that if I can’t think of anything witty to say, I don’t comment).

I try to keep up with all the contests and great articles that people link on their blogs. (Really bad at this right now. I can’t seem to keep up with it all)

I have a twitter and facebook account. (I’ve been really bad at this)

I am so amazed at the people who can do it all. Blog everyday, comment on other people’s blogs, read interesting articles to tell everyone about, enter contests, write 1000 words everyday, tweet, facebook, and basically make friends with people in the writing community all around the world.

Right now I think I’m trying to do too much and unfortunately for me that means I don’t do anything. I’m going to try and stick with blogging, commenting and writing, and hopefully I can still connect with people around the world.

So how do you guys feel? Do you every feel overwhelmed by it all or am I the only one?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A little scare - although not so little at the time.

Yesterday at work, we went out for lunch to celebrate someone's birthday. In the middle of the meal, I got an urgent phone call from one of secretaries saying that my husband called and he'd been in a serious car accident.

Of course being the non technological people that we are, we only have one cell phone and I had it. So I had no clue where he was or how he was. The secretary gave me the number that had come up in the caller ID. When I talked to the stranger she said he had been covered in glass and was bleeding, but okay. What exactly did that mean? Images of blood dripping down his face speed through my mind.

So I called my brother who lived close by to go out to where I thought the accident occured. I left everyone from work at the restaurant and went to try and find my husband, at this point I'm quite frantic and a tad bit emotional. Luckily he called five minutes later, gave me his exact location and told me he was waiting in a police car.

I turned on my CD of a book I had been listening to and tried to breath. When I got there, he was walking around getting stuff out of the car that was being loaded onto a tow truck, the whole drivers side had been smashed in. Apparently, a truck had been turning left and cut in front of someone going straight. After they collided, they both hit him.

So in short our car is totalled, but he's okay. In fact, he was more concerned about the fact that he had just filled up with gas and we had just paid our registration then he was about himself.

Even though everything worked out, there was an hour there where I felt anxious, stressed and worried, but in the end all of my fears were for nothing.

Believe it or not I do have an analogy to writing with this story. Is it okay to have a scene in your book where the characters are in a stressful situation, perilous even, but then have it be resolved easily or with not a lot of consequences. (I'm thinking more about scenes in the middle of the book - not at the end).

What do you think?
PS: The photo is not our car, but pretty close.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Afraid of What?

So it's been a while since I finished my first book. I mean ready to go to query land finish, but I've been extremely reluctant to push the send button.

I have a spreadsheet of over 80 agent names, but yet I hesitate. What do you think that means?

Part of me is afraid I'll be rejected by everyone and the dream of having that book published will be crushed.

Right now I can day dream about it. Imagine what it would be like, but I'm sure that each rejection will slowly cause that dream to fade away and I'm not sure I'm ready for that.

What about you? When you were done or are done, will you be super eager to press send?

Sunday, June 6, 2010


No, I'm not speaking of soccer, although I am very excited about the World Cup starting next week, especially for the photos of the players that will make the rounds through my email. (I might have to share)

No, today I'm talking about achieving one of my goals for 2010. I finished my second book.

Interesting though, I wasn't as excited as I was when I finished the first one, probably because I'm not naive anymore and I know what it takes to edit a book to the point where it's query worthy. Don't get me wrong. I'm very happy to have completed this goal. I wanted to know that I could do it again. That I could write a completely different book, with different characters and plot line. Knowing I can do it makes me more confident about having a writing career, even if it takes me a while.

The first draft of my last book was 100,000 words and I cut it to 70,000. This time I took a different approach. I wrote less words, knowing I would add more later on.

So here's your question: When you write a first draft to you write to add, or write to cut?